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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Leyland: 'I'm ashamed of myself, for what I called Vinnie Pestano'

If you’re enmeshed in a nail-biter of divisional race, it helps that game times are staggered occasionally.
That allowed the Tigers to watch the White Sox lose to the Angels Friday night, when they themselves were rained out. They also watched the Angels finish off a sweep of Chicago late Saturday night, after they’d already beaten the Twins.

And staggered start times Monday allowed the Tigers to watch the end of Chicago’s 5-4, come-from-behind win over the Indians.

Adam Dunn, whose sixth-inning home run elicited an expletive-deleted response from Jim Leyland, as the Tigers manager entertained the media in his office for a postgame press conference, won the game for the White Sox with a three-run home homer off reliever Vinnie Pestano in the eighth inning.

“I’m ashamed of myself, for what I called Vinnie Pestano,” Leyland jokingly admitted in Tuesday’s pregame media session, when asked about the home run that, considering hit helped them snap a five-game skid, may have momentarily saved their season. 

“I was sitting here, just like this, very comfortable, he got 0-and-2 on him, and within five seconds I was in the shower. Peeked around the corner to watch the last inning.”

Dunn’s home run was not surprising, really, considering that he’s got 41 of them on the season now. Still only hitting .209 with a MLB-high 210 strikeouts to go with his always prodigious power — it’s the sixth time he’s hit 40 or more homers, the ninth time with 30 or more — it’s still a far cry from Dunn’s historically bad season in his first in Chicago a year ago, when he hit .177 with 11 homers.
All the more reason that Pestano’s probably kicking himself (and Tigers fans kicking him, long distance) for grooving a two-strike pitch to Dunn.

“Well, he’s a good pitcher. He’s a really good pitcher. He just made a bad pitch to a veteran guy that’s got great power. One of the best home run hitters, probably, in the history of the game,” Leyland said.
“We thought a couple years ago he was the best power hitter in the game. If you looked at his track record, when he was hitting, and you were watching last night, you could probably say, ‘Well, this is probably going to be one of two things. He’s either going to either strike him out, or hit a home run.’ And he hit a home run.
“That’s the way it goes.”

The Tigers also got a chance to watch the White Sox lose, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon, giving them yet another opportunity to move into a tie in the American League Central with a win Tuesday night. The White Sox played a day game in observance of the start of Yom Kippur.


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